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The Higher Price of Living Large Rick Bellanti / Health & Wellness ~ YOUR HEALTH with RICK BELLANTI

Br: Rick Bellanti – Nov. 2018

I have been writing about health and wellness and the effects of being overweight and what obesity does to our bodies and the health risks involved like developing: Type II diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep issues and more. Now studies are showing fat discrimination is on the rise, bullying, ridicule and the constant butt of fat jokes. I myself was bullied relentlessly because of my weight issues from the first day of the first grade until the day I graduated high school – (and still today too, at 53 years old).

Now, the fact that school kids bullying one another is nothing new, but the sheer extent of their dislike for overweight kids surely is, and overweight kids are sixty-five percent more likely to be bullied at school than kids that are average weight. That number is so large now, that it’s scary and it’s only getting worse. Studies have shown that kids who are bullied because of their weight issues, are more likely to stay overweight and continued to be bullied and discriminated against, and it will continue to do so into adulthood.

While the health risks mentioned above, along with the emotional issues of being bullied and discriminated against, can certainly take its toll on your wellbeing, let’s talk about the high costs involved with living as a large person. Let’s face it, healthy foods sometimes cost more, just take one trip to a grocery store and look around, you’ll see immediately that the healthy food choices do not come cheap. Eating healthy foods on a budget does require more work, it may be less appealing taking the time to plan in this fast-paced world we live in but it can be done.

Our growing waistlines have an increasing effect on our bottom lines, too. Life and health insurance premiums rise, and prescription medicines cost more because we have medical issues associated with being overweight. Even the cost of your clothing is more than the average size person. For example, recently, at a local department store I picked up a 2xl buttoned down shirt for $18.99 (three dollars more than the price for a small to extra-large size). In the past I had to purchase a buttoned down shirt at the specialty Big and Tall or XL Size store and paid just under $70.00 for a 5xl size shirt.

The good news is, just by making some adjustments, losing weight and making healthier lifestyle choices may bring the “cost” of you living overweight down significantly, like by helping you reduce your risk of serious health conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. Saving you money from higher insurance premiums and medications because keeping illnesses at bay means fewer trips to the pharmacy and in turn, less money being spent on medication for chronic health conditions each year.

Don’t forget, just by dropping some weight and moving into smaller sizes, you’ll be able to purchase the clothes you want at lower prices keeping you out of pricey specialty stores.

Of course, the number one cost of your unhealthy lifestyle is you; don’t let living an unhealthy lifestyle cost you your life. Studies show that overweight patients who lower their weight may reap health benefits by keeping chronic diseases away and that could potentially add years to their lives. I think we can all agree that living longer and with less extra expense is our goal.

Rick Bellanti is a wellness columnist and is on a journey himself to lose 240lbs, and has lost 160lbs since the start of 2015. You can find Rick on Facebook at: Getting Healthy with Rick Bellanti ◊

ValleyPatriot

ValleyPatriot

The Valley Patriot is a free monthly print newspaper serving Northern Massachusetts, and Southern New Hampshire. The print edition is published by the 10th of each month and is distributed to 51 cities and towns.

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